Happy New Year! It's 2023 and that means 1973 was *gasp!* 50 years ago!!

Tonight, CBS aired S05E14 "The Child Stealers".

A couple, Gar (Richard Hatch) and Nina (Meg Foster), are kidnapping kids from Hawaii and selling them on the mainland to an attorney (Richard Anderson) specializing in adoptions.

That's the simple premise. However, this episode brings up all sorts of issues. As the show opens, Nina skips over a baby of Asian descent (thanks to Karen Rhodes for pointing this out in her book) and takes a Caucasian baby from a shopping cart. She whisks him into an awaiting car driven by Gar. They go straight to the airport where Gar wipes down the car and ditches it in a junk yard. They fly to LA where they go to the attorney and his home for kids.

They meet up with the attorney, Eugene Goodman, where they're paid cash for the latest baby. Goodman asks if they and "their friends" have heard of the pill, speaking of birth control. Remember, this is the New Year of 1973!!

Five-O gets involved right away with the kidnapping. The wife (Brooks Almy) is beside herself when her husband, Martin Empson (Jack Hogan) shows up along with Five-O. After doing some homework, our team figures out someone is taking these babies to the mainland for adoption.

There's a heart-wrenching scene when one baby is tracked down by Ben. After printing her, the parents (Norman DuPont and Jane Adrian) become extremely upset when they realize they could lose her because the adoption is not on the up and up.

Che Fong (Harry Endo) tracks down where bogus birth certificates are being printed by Alton Keale (Moe Keale). Keale tells Danno the latest certificate was picked up that morning! The Five-O team kicks it into high gear and head to the airport. Nina is caught by Chin Ho and Gar is cornered by McGarrett who tells Gar his dream of freedom is gone and his new home is going to be a prison cell!

Mr. Mike does a much better job than I. His review is here: https://www.fiveohomepage.com/5-0log5.htm#110

I really enjoy this episode. The casting is perfect. Hatch plays his part without being overly creepy but still creepy. Meg Foster is good too - she's just trying to keep it together and hope to one day have a child of her own. She is seriously conflicted as the episode goes on since the first baby she and Gar sold was their own. Her conflict becomes very apparent when the Empsons go on TV to appeal for the return of their son.

Anderson is another one who plays his part perfectly. He soon feels the heat after a visit from McGarrett who has a court order in hand to look over all the files of the adoption agency. It's how they were able to track down the Empson baby and return him to his family in Honolulu.

One scene I absolutely love in this show is the chase in the airport. Gar and Nina have kidnapped yet another child and are sneaking her out of the state in a rattan bag that Gar is carrying. As he runs through the airport being chased by McGarrett and Danno, Gar scoots the bag across the floor. Danno slides to stop it while McGarrett jumps over them to go after Gar. Danno then lifts the baby out to make sure she's okay - she's only sedated but checked out anyway.

Also note, Danno's stance as they watch the Empsons on TV. I wonder how personal James MacArthur took this episode given the subject matter of adoption. Just an observation on my part.

This is a good episode to watch just for fun because while it raises all sorts of issues, but it doesn't do it in a preachy manner or hits you over the head. As the show went, especially in the 10th Season on, they lost this ability. But for now, we enjoy the 5th Season's 50th Anniversary.

Happy 50th, "The Child Stealers"!!